FACTORS IN EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION/SATISFACTION

by Steve Falkenberg
Department of Psychology
Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, KY 40475

There are two factors which operate to determine if an employee will be a "problem" employee or if they will be a "motivated" employee. One of these factors has to do with meeting needs and achieving goals--Getting that BMW, swimming pool, etc. The other factor has to do with how meaningful the work is and whether the person feels they are appreciated for what they do.

A FAIR AGREEMENT--ENTITLEMENTS

People have certain needs and goals. In order to attain their goals and meet their needs they will enter into agreements to do work and provide services in exchange for the things they need and want.

One key to making these agreements satisfactory is fairness. Before entering into the agreement the person wants to know that he/she will be treated fairly.

Poor morale can result from the workers perception that she/he will is being treated unfairly by the organization or that he/she is being deprived of something to which she/he is entitled as part of what they thought was a fair agreement. This can be fixed by:

VALUE AND APPRECIATION: THE KEY TO MOTIVATION AND SATISFACTION.

Even when the agreement is fair and understood it takes something more to motivate the worker-- to keep the worker interested and committed to perform. It is quite common for someone to be getting an excellent salary and benefits, to not have to work too hard, and to hate every minute of their job. Some of these individuals quit that job and take one with lower salary and worse benefits because it is motivating to them.

Kiersy says that what motivates people is appreciation (Kiersy and Bates, 1978). A motivated employee is one that feels appreciated. Most people will spend a lot of time (after work and on weekends) working for no pay, and often working a lot harder than they do at their job, to do something that will be appreciated.

Morale problems can result if the employee does not feel appreciated.

The easiest way to deal with this type of problem is to increase the participation of the workers in management decisions and to increase communication.

SOME COMMENTS ON THE USE OF INCENTIVES TO DEAL WITH MORALE PROBLEMS.

Lack of appreciation/value cannot be compensated for by incentives.

Reference

Keirsey, D. and Bates, M (1978) Please Understand Me: Character and temperament types.Prometheus Nemesis Books, Delmar CA. (Third Edition)


Send comments to:
Steve Falkenberg

steve.falkenberg@eku.edu

Copyright © 1997 Steve Falkenberg